Emory Baptist Church

The Lord Uses a Different Watch!

August 22, 2021

If you have your Bibles, please take them and find 2 Peter 3:1.  I want to share a message with you this morning entitled, “The Lord Uses a Different Watch!” 

 

Today is our next to last message in 2 Peter.  We will finish this short book next Sunday morning.  

 

I hope you remember that 2 Peter is primarily about false teachers within this church.  They were guilty of denying the Lord.  That may have meant they denied His deity or humanity or Lordship.  Regardless, they were heretics.

 

Peter uses this letter to warn these first century Christians and remind them of the truth.  If you go back to chapter 1, you will find this idea or remember or reminding in 1:12, 1:13, and 1:15.

 

He is going to do that again in today’s text.  You find the word “remind” in 3:1, the word “mindful” in 3:2, and the admonition, “do not forget” in 3:8, and he does this because they were prone to forget as are we.

 

Peter’s reminders for today are three.  First, remember that the false teachers will mock.  Second, remember that the Lord is patient.  Third, remember that the day of the Lord is coming.

 

 

  1. Remember that the false teachers will mock, 2 Peter 3:1-7.

1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

 

Peter’s reminder are certainly friendly reminders as evidenced with “Beloved.”  We also are reminded that this is his second epistle.  The first is called 1 Peter. 

 

Peter’s first reminder regarding the false teachers and their mocking was originally said by the holy prophets of the OT and the apostles of the NT.  Again, we are prone to forget.  Therefore, we have to be reminded of what we have been taught by those that have gone before us. 

 

What did those prophets and apostles say?

 

Malachi 4:1-2, 1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.  And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the Lord of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch.  2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; And you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

 

There will be scoffers or mockers in the last days.  The last days is the time between Jesus’ first and second comings, and to scoff or mock meant to doubt or disparage or make fun.

 

Specifically, these false teachers were doubting that Jesus was going to return, and they were also living like it.  Notice verse 4.

 

Essentially, they were saying, look around.  Nothing has changed.  Jesus is not returning.  It is a farce.   You’ve been duped.

 

Furthermore, not only were they saying Jesus wasn’t coming, they were also living like it.  Verse 3 says they were walking or living according to their own lusts.  They were living as if there were no moral consequences to their actions, specifically to their sexual immorality.

 

Finally, about these false teachers, in verse 5, Peter rebutted their argument that nothing has changed.  He reminded them of the global flood in Genesis 7. 

 

God created the world and judged the world with a global flood.  In the future, He will judge the world again.  However, this time, it won’t be with water but with fire.

 

This truth was also testified by the holy prophets.

 

Isaiah 66:15-16, 15 For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire.  16 For by fire and by His sword The Lord will judge all flesh; And the slain of the Lord shall be many.

 

Daniel 7:9-10, 9 “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool.  His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him.  A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.  The court was seated, And the books were opened.

 

 

  1. Remember that the Lord is patient, 2 Peter 3:8-9.

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

 

Again, Peter used that term of endearment in giving this second reminder.  The Lord uses a different watch than we do.  Therefore, is very patient in spite of how it seems.

 

In verse 8, Peter quoted Psalm 90:4.  Some have taken this verse and applied in too many places.  I don’t think you can use this verse to say that God took 6000 years to create the earth because one day is like a thousand years.  I also don’t think you can say that Jesus has really only been gone two since one day is like a thousand years to Him.

 

Peter is simply saying that the Lord doesn’t measure time necessarily like we do.  We look at time linearly.  He looks at time eternally. 

 

Regardless, He is not slack or slow.  Instead, He is patient.  That is who He is and who He has always been.  Both testaments confirm this truth.

 

Psalm 86:15, 15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,

Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

 

Romans 2:4, 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

 

John Calvin in his commentary on 2 Peter said this, “So wonderful is his love towards mankind, that He would have them all to be saved, and is of His own self prepared to bestow salvation on the lost” (Epistles of Peter, p. 419).

 

Therefore, the Lord hasn’t returned not because He is slow.  The Lord hasn’t returned because when He returns, there will be no more chances to turn to Him.  His not returning is because of His patience and His desire for you to be saved.

 

 

  1. The day of the Lord is coming, 2 Peter 3:10.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

 

Peter says the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  That simile is used all throughout the New Testament to describe the return of Christ.

 

Matthew 24:42-44, 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

 

Revelation 16:15, 15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

 

Simply put, Jesus is coming back at a time when you don’t expect in the same way you do know when to expect a thief.

 

 

Conclusion

So what does all this mean for us today?  First, if you’re not saved, the Lord is patient, but His patience will be coming to an end.  Call upon Him today, this morning to be saved from your sins.  Stop taking advantage of His patience.

 

Second, if you are saved, quit living like Jesus isn’t coming again.  Let that truth motivate and inspire your gospel sharing and your tithing giving and your holy living. 

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